By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), says aviation industry’s contribution to the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), currently stands at 2.7 trillion dollars.
President of ICAO, Dr Bernard Aliyu and the Secretary General, Dr Fang Liu on Friday, in a joint statement to commemorate the 2018 International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD), said no fewer than 4.1 billion passengers and 56 million tonnes of freight were carried on 37 million commercial flights in 2017.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Dec. 7 every year is recognised globally as ICAD and the theme for this year is: “Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left Behind”.
“In light of this massive volume of operations, aviation generates over 65 million jobs worldwide and more than 2.7 trillion dollars to global GDP.
“In spite of the incredible scale of these economic impacts, the growth in commercial flight volumes show no signs of slowing.
“Indeed current forecasts see the numbers of passengers and operations in global air transport doubling by the mid-2030s and by that time, no fewer than 200,000 flights per day are expected to take off and land all over the world.
“This tremendous exponential growth, coupled with the distinct contributions of aviation connectivity to States’ achievement of 15 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), presents a new and tremendous opportunity for global development in the coming decades,” they said.
They said hat governments of member states must commit to raising their levels of ICAO compliance to be in line with global norms in order to take advantage of the growth and optimise it for their local businesses and populations.
ICAO said that governments must also continue to support the principles of open borders and freer trade to enable air transport to continue to connect all and foster new understanding among the peoples of the world and new opportunities for travel and trade.
According to ICAO leaders, improving local skills and capabilities to assure ICAO compliance can be a daunting task for many developing States, and the No Country Left Behind theme acknowledges these challenges while encouraging greater generosity and assistance from more developed States and donors.
“This theme was established on a recurring basis for the 2016-2018 ICAO triennium, in order to highlight the enormous transformational power of air connectivity to improve people’s lives.
“It also reflects the key role of cooperation and assistance to help spread aviation’s benefits to every corner of the world, and on the power of capacity-building to help needful States leverage the latest technologies and innovations.
“To-date it has helped many countries become more active participants in international aviation, helping to augment travel and tourism revenues for Small Island States, provide Landlocked Developing States with safe, secure and rapid access to global suppliers and trade routes.
“It has also helped to present a brighter and more sustainable future of opportunity for their local populations,” they said.